- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
News feed: Facebook is up after glitchy afternoon
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - A technical glitch blocked or slowed access to Facebook for several hours Thursday, unplugging many of the social-networking site’s 500 million users from the constant flow of updates from their friends.
Facebook called it “the worst outage we’ve had in over four years” in a blog post published late Thursday.
The company blamed a software flaw that caused a cluster of its databases to be overwhelmed. Facebook said it had to shut down the entire site to stop traffic to the databases. The company estimated the problems persisted for about two and a half hours.
By evening, the site was again running smoothly, but some people affected by the problems were still cooling off.
Jennifer Sokolowsky, a freelance writer and editor in Seattle, was in the middle of contacting some Facebook friends about a possible job when the site slowed to a frustrating crawl.
“I realized I don’t have any other way to contact them,” she said. “If it’s not working properly, that’s when you realize how tapped in you are to it.”
The problem started about 2:05 p.m. EDT, said Vik Chaudhary, a vice president at website monitoring company Keynote Systems. Over four hours, the site was unavailable to 22 percent of those who tried to access it, Keynote said. Normally, it’s available close to 100 percent of the time.
Any stutter in Facebook’s services is bound to cause a commotion on the Web. Its members now spend more time on the social network than they do even on Google, which owns the leading Web search engine, YouTube and other sites. In August, Facebook commanded 41.1 million minutes of U.S. surfers’ time, compared with 39.8 million minutes spent on Google sites that month, according to research group comScore Inc.
For some, the technical problem upstaged news that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 26, is donating $100 million to the struggling Newark public school district. The donation is being announced Friday on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show.
Facebook is also under the microscope ahead of the Oct. 1 release of the movie “The Social Network,” a fictionalized account of Facebook’s founding that paints a less-than-flattering picture of the young CEO.
The Facebook outage came two days after a mischievous hack spread through Twitter, the short messaging site. That attack didn’t shut Twitter down but it spread “tweets” of blocked-out text to people’s accounts, causing pop-up windows to open on their computer screens.
AP Technology Writer Jessica Mintz in Seattle contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors